Aroon Manoharan
Program Director for the Global Comparative Public Administration - online MPA programs offered at The University of Massachusetts, Boston

Aroon Manoharan, Program Director for the Global Comparative Public Administration, MPA program at The University of Massachusetts, Boston, joins us today to discuss public administration.

1. Can you tell us about the online MPA programs offered at UMass Boston?

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) in Global Comparative Public Administration (GCPA) educates a new generation of global public administrators and is targeted towards both working professionals and recent undergraduates seeking to develop administrative and analytical skills with a global comparative perspective. Graduates are prepared for public service careers and leadership positions in state, national, and international governments and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

2. How long does a typical online MPA program take at UMass Boston? What is the maximum and minimum time of completion?

This is a 39-credit program that takes two years to complete when enrolled full-time. Since the program is offered online, students have the flexibility to keep their full-time jobs while attending class when it’s convenient for them.

3. What do you think makes University of Massachusetts Global Comparative Public Administration, MPA stand out from other online MPA programs?

The McCormack Graduate School at the University of Massachusetts Boston equips future leaders with tools to enhance governance, strengthen communities, remedy injustices, catalyze change and improve our planet and the lives of people across generations.   Our students, faculty and staff are known for cutting-edge research and practice with local, national and global impact. By engaging policy makers, decision makers and community members, we help shape effective policies that create a more equitable, sustainable, and peaceful world. Our Global Comparative Public Administration, MPA empowers students to work to resolve global inequity, learn the complex, interdependent network among nation-states and supranational organizations and to develop new and alternative strategies for improving public institutions worldwide

4. How important would you say accreditation is when choosing an online MPA program?

There is some debate as to whether or not online MPA degrees are as worthwhile as traditional MPA degrees. What steps does University of Massachusetts Boston take to ensure that online students are receiving the same education that they’d receive in a classroom?

The MPA program offers courses using a hybrid of in-class and online teaching approaches. The in-class lecture will be live streamed to our online students and the recording will also be available for students, both in-class and online, to access at a later time. The courses also involve multiple platforms that bring both in-class and online students to work on similar assignments, projects and discussions.

5. What are the advantages to earning a MPA degree in general?

An MPA degree not only gives a theoretical and practical foundation to administration in the public sector, but statistics also show employees with an MPA degree earn, on average, 30-40% more than those with a Bachelor’s Degree.

6. Does UMass Boston offer job placement for students who graduate in public administration?

UMass Boston’s diverse student body provides a global context for student learning, and its location in a major U.S. city provides connections to employers in industries such as finance, health care, technology, service, and education, offering students opportunities to gain valuable in-school experience via internships, clinicals, and other career-related placements. Our faculty have vast networks in public policy, non-profits, public management and government.

7. Do you have any advice for students enrolling in an online MPA program for the first time?

Be prepared to think critically about issues facing public administrators today.  A Masters in Public Administration MPA is more than just checking a few requirements off a list.  You will be challenged to find creative solutions to current challenges and consider all sides of the issues.  The world is a case study for a program like this, so be prepared to develop your analytical skills to evaluate current policies and make recommendations for new ones.

8. What do you enjoy most about your position at UMass Boston?

UMass Boston is a great place to work and study, and is internationally recognized as a model of excellence for urban public universities and was recently ranked among the top 50 Most Innovative Public Service Schools in the United States. Located in a great American city known for its history and commitment to higher education, the university has a diverse and talented group of students and faculty and is perfectly suited to offer such a global and comparative focused MPA program.

Thank you Aroon, for sharing and participating in this piece.

That concludes our interview!

More contact information at 100 William T. Morrissey Blvd., Boston, MA 02125

Additional Resources

For more information on the online MPA programs offered at The University of Massachusetts, Boston, visit them online.

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